This week, we had two drives with car clubs going up to the high country in the northern mountain area of North Carolina. One drive was a history tour starting in South Carolina and ending in Banner Elk, with the leaders telling us about Revolutionary War sites. We had 17 MINIs on that run.
Our mountain roads are not exactly straight.
We went past battle grounds and parks dedicated to history, along with farms and the lovely pastoral scenes so typical of our state. We went by lots of pastures with cows or horses, and some had goats or sheep.
This field of corn was so high, it almost covered up this barn. It made me wish for fresh corn from the field, grilled in the husks and slathered with butter.
This formation on the side of a mountain looked so interesting. But we found out later it is a quarry for crushed stone and gravel.
As we climbed into the high country, the beautiful Blue Ridge lives up to its name.
The other drive was a scouting tour for a drive we will help lead in September. There were seven of us at the start, going up to the starting point in Blowing Rock.
At the park, these adorable baby ducks were having a nap while mom kept a watchful eye on me.
Marvelous rock formations are frequently seen on the roadside. Much of our time this day was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We needed to go through the two detours to be sure they would still work for our club.
The detours were not bad, one was as pretty a drive as the parkway. When we got back on the parkway after the detour, we stopped at an overlook for a minute just to take in the view.
Lush green leaves on forested areas line the roads of our drives, while warm temperatures persist. Afternoon showers increase the humidity, and it seems summer will go on for a while. The high mountain areas were cooler, and have me longing for the cooler days of Autumn, crisp and quiet mornings on the veranda with a hot cup of coffee as the early dawn sunlight gradually lightens the skies. August seems to drag on, longer than most months. I want to flip my closet to sweaters and corduroy pants, and put my flip-flops and shorts away. I look forward to cozy times in front of the fireplace in my flannel pajamas with a good book. But not quite yet. With the zoom lens on my camera, the view across the valley in the early morning this week has been foggy and still green.
Part of the anticipation is the upcoming Mountain State Fair. Longtime readers know how much I love the fair, and enter lots of competitions. I have been baking lately, and making adjustments to the recipes I’ll enter. But I got news that really frosted my cookies. After developing a killer pork recipe, I found out that the NC Pork council has backed out of sponsoring a competition at the Mountain State Fair this year. I let them know how disappointed I am on their facebook page, a post they immediately took down, the yellow-bellied spineless chickens. So, between that and scheduling conflicts with other events, I can only enter four cooking competitions. So each one has to be really good. This is all I can show you for now for the baking competitions.
I spent an entire day looking through photos from the past year, deciding which ones would make the cut for entering the photography competitions. Participants are limited to five, and sometimes it is difficult to choose. I printed out the photos on glossy paper and mounted them as required on foam core boards.
I pulled quilts for the quilt competition, and more quilted things for entry in Senior, Crafting and Clothing categories. I lay them out flat on the guest bed to minimize creases while we wait. I’ve put the sleeves on the larger ones too. This year I am ready a bit earlier than usual.
I have time to do a wreath, and some cards for the new paper crafts category. I may attempt a beaded Christmas ornament too, we’ll see. In the meantime, I cut up Autumn fabrics this week, and am working on Autumn Jubilee designs. Is it any wonder that I am in the mood for Autumn? I love the colors of the fall season.
Oliver is also enjoying the beginning of the harvest with lots of acorns on the ground. He still gets a treat if he comes by when I am home to notice. Here’s your weekly Oliver fix.
It is an easy week coming up, just one meeting and some pickleball practice, so I might get some sewing done. What’s going on in your part of the world?